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April 10. 2012 11:34PM

New Hampshire banks boost lending

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report Tuesday showing that New Hampshire banks have increased their small-business lending by $91.7 million since receiving capital through Small Business Lending Fund.

The SBLF, which was established as part of the Obama administration’s Small Business Jobs Act, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses to help them grow and create new jobs. The Treasury Department invested more than $4 billion in 332 institutions, located in more than 3,000 communities in 48 states, through the SBLF.

Nationwide, institutions participating in the SBLF significantly increased small business lending in the last quarter of 2011 by $1.3 billion over the prior quarter — for a total of $4.8 billion under the program.

SBLF participants in New Hampshire include Newport-based New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares Inc., the holding company for Lake Sunapee Bank; Centrix Bank and Trust of Bedford; Northway Financial Inc. in Berlin; Guaranty Bancorp Inc. in Woodsville; First Colebrook Bancorp Inc., the holding company for First Colebrook Bank; and The Nashua Bank.

The report, said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin, shows the program “is helping spark new lending to local entrepreneurs looking to invest in their businesses and create new jobs.”

According to Treasury, small businesses employ roughly one-half of all Americans and account for about 60 percent of gross jobs creation.



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